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Roll Over, Karl Marx

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posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 06:15 PM
reply to post by fallow the light

Well, in my opinion, capitalism is not fair. But again, I'm not really advocating socialism. I'm not trying to "hurt" anyone's children. I'm not sure where this nonsense of "hurt" comes from. Capitalism is already hurting your children. It might not have bubbled to the surface yet for your particular family, but at one time or another in their lives, capitalism will hurt them. It could be the privatization of the school system, the healthcare system, the transportation system, or the continued encroachment of war-like societal problems on our very neighborhoods.

Let's do a little comparison. There are 300 people. One of them thinks it's a good idea to grow a specific cash crop - let's say cotton. Fifteen individuals from the group are given the authority by the single person to delegate the work load among the remaining 284 individuals. In return, those 15 people will then be given an elevated status (managerial, let's say), which means better treatment and better pay.

The remaining 284 people are given only what the top person - the owner of the farm - has decided is essential to their survival. In this case, we will say their "pay" was housing in cramped wooden shacks and food that sustains them only enough to fill their caloric needs.

Of course I just painted a picture of slavery.

Now, let's compare this to 300 people in a factory nowadays. One person wants to create a factory to make shoes. This person delegates managerial authority to 15 or so people to run different parts of the factory. The remaining 280 or so people are left to toil at one aspect or another: fitting the soles, stringing the laces, boxing the finish product, etc. They are compensated for their time with money that, in most cases (depending on the circumstances of course: single parent, experience, etc.) goes towards paying a landlord or perhaps a mortgage, struggling to buy food that is generally accepted to be poor in nutrition and high in carbohydrates.

You might argue that I've brought too many angles into this argument, but I see no other way to argue the aspects of this situation without mentioning all the side issues.

In the slavery situation, the land owner probably knows about how to buy the raw materials and sell the cotton, work with the accounting, etc. This person probably knows some aspects of the product being produced. It is unlikely that this person ever oversaw the cultivation of the cotton from start to finish, felt the plant, dealt with the workload, etc. Nevertheless, after all overhead is paid (that is, room and board is allotted to the slaves) this single person is permitted to keep all the left-overs (aka, the "profits").

In the factory, the same is true. The owner may not even have knowledge of shoe creation, design, ergonomics, etc. The owner has not run a sewing machine, has not dealt with the sweat-inducing heat of the factory floor and the danger of the stamping machine or assembly line. This person pays the overhead, which includes the labor, giving the minimum wage or slightly above it (I'm not going to get into unions and their efforts to raise the pay to counter this situation, as the purpose of that should be obvious based on my explanation; I will also not mention the offshoring of jobs to 3rd world factories, as that is the counter argument by the owners of these factories and corporations).

In the case of the slaves, they are given just enough to survive - the bare minimum for their labor. They produce cotton from start to finish, but do not reap the benefits of the finished product beyond the pittance in housing and food that they receive. If, left to their own means, cotton would not have been their only crop, probably producing things they can also live off of, such as vegetables, fruits and domesticated livestock.

In the case of the workers in the factory, they are given just enough to survive - the bare minimum, though usually not enough - to pay the landlord or mortgage, the grocer, the gas/bus tickets, clothes, schooling for their children, etc. If left to their own devices, those members of the factory who know how to make shoes would continue to make shoes, those that new some other trade would do that.

The difference between the slaves and the workers is a matter of outsourcing. Rather than directly supplying labor with food and shelter, modern factories provide a money pay, outsourcing the provision of these things to other "factory" type situations (food packing plants, fastfood restaurants, grocery stores, furniture factories, clothing factories, landlords of apartment blocks, mortgage banks and other financial institutions, etc.).

In answer to your first question: Just as the slaves and the workers may or may not have any real ability or joy at growing cotton or making shoes, I do not have a factory plan or skills for making anything that would require a factory. My ability is teaching. So I teach. Other people may have the skills to make shoes, furniture, grow vegetables or other crops, etc. Unfortunately, the situation in our country with dumbed down push-button, bean-counting, assembly line operation and the like has created a situation of low skill.

I do not have the answer to fully overhaul the system. I'm just pointing out that it is not what it seems and though you call it capitalism, it's really nothing more than what it used to be: slavery. In the days of slavery, obviously not all people were slaves. The majority of the pre-industrial revolution poor worked small farms and lived off the land. Clearly we do not want to go back to that, but we also do not need to have this mechanized, wage-slave system either.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 06:24 PM

Originally posted by fallow the light
reply to post by ANOK

then why don't you go and do that? you can do that in today's society. why change things for others that dont want them that way? why cant you just go live your life and ill live mine. right now you have the ability to make ur own company and run it how YOU see fit.

I'm sure I'm not talking about you as you do not sound like a corporate owner. People like me and ANOK are talking about corporations. If you just let them go off and live their lives the way you want, you should read my previous post that I just wrote 5 minutes ago that states what happens when they live the way they want, it means countless others cannot.

why would you force some one ells to run their business the way YOU want?

And do you honestly think that the people will control things? you really don't think that the government wont? our DEM/LIB white house seems to think the government should regulate everything.

it all seems so hypocritical and unfair to me.

Someone needs to regulate these companies.

That's where we got child labor laws, environmental protections (like the clean water act), and labor protections to allow for weekends, breaks, better wages, safe conditions. If you feel like letting companies do whatever you want, then you can continue to look forward to Chinese drywall, chemicals in baby formula, BP oil spills, salmonella contamination and e. coli in your hamburger meat.

There was just another oil spill in Montana over the weekend. The coal company (Massey) in West Virginia, where negligence to make more profits for the owners, caused the deaths of dozens of miners; the lobbyists who get money into the hands of politicians to secure no-bid contracts (no-bid meaning, it's yours, no questions asked) so that they can continue to make unsafe conditions for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, polluting the water in New York and Pennsylvania with Hydrofracking, drilling in the gulf, contaminating seafood that other people make their living off of, etc., etc., etc.

We could talk about other countries where we send out jobs, where the regulations are low. In those places people are denied access to drinking water so Coca Cola can have a plant. They are not allowed to have breaks so another pair of Nike sneakers can be made for 5 cents on the dollar, if that. Where does the other 95c go? to profits!

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 06:35 PM

Even as an Anarchist, I'd rather have a government work for ME as much as possible SO LONG AS IT EXISTS.

But if you're an anarchist, you think government is immoral, so why would you have it working for you? That would be like having a criminal working for you. SO LONG AS THEY EXIST, why not have criminals work for you? One reason is because they are criminals and will probably rob you the first chance you get.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by Sphota

The amount of angles you bring to the table just shows whether or not you are worth arguing with lol and im here so you must be

But i most certainly understand where you are coming from. i use to believe in socialism.... no i really did lol
But i one day realized that not every one shares the same vision.

If i am to believe in freedom for every man, i have to think of how others would feel if i forced them to live how i see fit. there would also be many that wouldn't want to work and would have to be taken care of by those who do work.

Also in order to implement such a world, you would have to steal property form ALLOT of people.

Think about this.....

Say i am a dancer (shut up lol). ok now i can naturally produce my own goods and services (shut up again lol) but see, i need a team of 4 men to help me (shut up one more time lol). they each do a simple job like sweeping, replacing lights, curtain puller and costumes. but im the dancer, its my show and i work the hardest.

My show brings in $10,000 a night. now should i pay my employees $2000 and my self as well? Or since i work the hardest and the people are coming to see ME and MY show, i should make $3000 a night and pay my employees $1750?

I know as a musician if i got famous, i wouldn't want the guy who sweeps the studio floor to make the same as i am. why should he get a million dollars a year too, if i am the one doing all the work?

See we need an open market to keep things fair. we need to let people choose for them self's or one day a minority population will scream OPPRESSION!!!!!!

And then we would have to go threw this whole ordeal of capitalism vs socialism, or some other form of government.

We need to fight for freedom for any human to be able to choose for him/her self!!!!!

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 10:11 PM
reply to post by Sphota

Regulation is also how we loose our liberties. instead of regulating the world as if it is your job, why dont you fight to have them investigated and arrested. fight to make the companies change. dont fight to regulate and control the world.

You are right. i am not a big business owner. but what if one day i decided.....hmmm... im gunna be a millionaire. but i wont ever get to be one because i have to pay my employees the same i make. my company only brings in a million a year and i have 9 employees. now none of my employees work harder than i do. i put in longer hours and the original product would have never come into existence if I wouldn't have thought of it and i also own (payed for with MY own money) all of the materials. so seeing that i work harder than my employees, it was my idea, and i payed for everything to begin with, should we all make $100,000 a year?

Because at that rate, i wont get to fulfill my dream of becoming a millionaire and never have to work again
for over 10 years. because i have to use my $100,000 i make every year to pay bills and food etc...

the whole reason i started this business was because i wanted to be a millionaire but because i have to pay my employees the same, i might never get to.

......... i want freedom clear and simple. if i dont like what a business is doing I AM FREE TO NOT WORK OR PURCHASE GOODS from that company.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 10:19 PM
OH CRAP! i just realized i got sucked into a couple of arguments! i vowed to never argue on ATS specially when it comes to politics and religion.

My bad!

nice debate every one!

As usual no one has won (these things cant be won)

but best wishes to all! im out!

if any one would like to "discuss" this subject matter any further please PM me.

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by Sphota

...If I really wanted to, I could get 300 like-minded individuals together and make a factory tomorrow, for whatever purpose.

I doubt it, and it looks like others see this as more talk than likelihood, but Socialism and Utopianism is often long on talk, and theory, and short of real-life examples. But, I can let others debate this.

In that the material framework of capitalism is extant, yes, there would be no need to build factories (except perhaps here in America where they all seem to have magically been transported to the third world by Friedman, the faerie godfather of neoliberalism). The factories that do exist should be made use of in a transition, it would be wasteful not to.

Ah, how horrible it would be to "waste" a perfectly good factory. Certainly it should be "made use of", in the "transition"...

But what if the existing factory belonged to YOU. Why should you give it up voluntarily? Not likely? Then why should anyone else assume they have a right to confiscate private property?

Ah, the "transition"...As usual, there are some subtle semantics being employed, but this transition would not doubt eradicate private property, ultimately. Could you do it without force? No? No thanks.

...What was the housing bubble, if not partially the creation of a glut of structures with no real purpose. Yes, we can argue that when one builds a house, one intends for that house to be occupied. But, as can clearly be seen, in the supply chain and labor chain of production, homes are built without the express necessity on the part of the construction company or financier that they be occupied. This is even more emphatically supported by wealthy developers, such as Donald Trump, who sells his "brand" (a hallow shell of a product - a cognitive deception, really) and then when the project goes belly up or has some other issue, he is protected because Trump the physical person is not Trump the Corporation (ironically, Latin for "embodiment").

I live in South Florida...outside of Las Vegas, I think I know what I can see with my own eyes. And my eyes see a lot of unfinished construction projects, unoccupied completed projects, and derelict previously used buildings. Interestingly, there is high unemployment and people complain about jobs being offshored. Any one of those abandoned and neglected blights could be used tomorrow for either housing in the case of residential or working in the case of commercial/industrial. But someone owns them who is waiting for the building to "have a purpose" so it is worth more money.

You likely know why a glut of structures were created. It's one of the pillars of Communism, it's called a CENTRAL BANK. Look it up. One more thing that works in Utopia, but not in the real world.

This is not temporal. This is a long time comin', as they say. Detroit and New Orleans were just harbingers. I've lived in the so-called third world and I can tell you what to expect if you'd like to listen. I don't know your economic status, but I know mine and it's what you'd call lower middle-class. Better than working poor, but only because I live with relatives. I'd like to fix that, but I know that middle class is not an easy club to enter right now and most people have hunkered down who will survive this transition (the transition from the US the way we previously conceived of it to it's new globalist status as thirdworld enclave). Those not in the middle class will not be getting into it easily and the middle class itself with have to undergo a radical shift in self-perception and many in it will soon find a new strange limbo between working poor and middle class.

This may, or may not be true, regarding the future. While I tend to agree with you that the US is heading for harder times that will likely not be temporary, it might be good to wonder why this is so.

Our masters have plans, and America fits right in. It has it's role to play, on the global stage. While we could speculate about what exactly that role may be, I think I can agree with you that a "middle-class" is generally not considered a desirable thing by the elite. Eventually, the whole world will likely be divided into good old-fashioned "haves", and "have-nots", regardless of our present views.

Along the way, I continue to think we have to be careful of falling for the traps that have been set. Certainly, Socialism is a big one. Can humanity somehow "beat" the odds, and one day be free of the present tyranny? Probably not, but then, I can be rather pessimistic at times. Like when I see threads like this, and so many being pulled along by the nose, imagining that fantasies will work out somehow. Well, they will work out: For our masters. Which is why I'm generally against fantasizers who are unwittingly helping Massa forge our chains.

What went wrong? SOCIALISM. Same song, but socialists play a fun game of pin the tail on the capitalist!

Mortgage backed securities is socialism? They should never have torn down the regulation between investment banking and mortgages. That was a bad idea.

Personally, I find it repugnant that anyone should have to live in a high rise tenement or dumpy apartment block. And then, as a society, we wonder what exactly goes wrong with "those people". You cannot solve one problem and then avoid the others, that is why I bring this up here. There is no way to look at the mortgage issue without analyzing the social flaw in mortgages to begin with.

It is 100% unreasonable that any human being born into this world should be denied their own land to live on. And while I agree that communal living is optimal because we are social creatures, there needs to be some attempt other than "rent-controlled" apartments and publicly funded (those that haven't been "gentrified") welfare housing (aka projects). That is bs. And I'm not just talking about the ghetto, I'm talking about trailer parks and other versions of third-world slums as re-envisioned in this country.

See, my view is that a person has rights and despite whatever strange techno-social framework we've created over the century, the fetus is born into this world with some natural contract that needs to be obliged.

It may not be unreasonable to want people to have land, but I would caution the use of terms such as "their own". Socialists won't be happy until ALL property rights are obliterated. Oh, perhaps they will allow you to call your uniform "yours", but you better keep it up to standards, or else!

To an extent, I do agree with you that everyone born into the world has rights, and that there is in fact "social obligation" that is attached to that. Just as a child may be born into a family, and no one thinks it's OK to then abandon that child, the same is true of greater society.

Exactly "what" each person should have, due to this societal obligation, may be hard to define, although no doubt reasoning might involve utilizing some kind of "minimum" standards. Such as, should everyone enjoy some level of health care? Answer: Society in developed nations generally agree, although they disagree substantially on what that minimum level should be of course.

I've shaken the rhetoric. That is why I don't toe the Democratic party line like I did back when I first became politically aware. I'm not going to sit and defend socialism, because I've read too much Marx, Bakunin, Freire, Chomsky and DeBord to be 100% in the boat.

I know that State Socialism is not the saving grace, that is for sure, because it is just the inverse of State Capitalism. Really, it's just the angle you view it from:

State Socialism: Government controls the means of production - Cronie-ism and a Bureaucrat class will take advantage of the system by placing themselves high up on the ladder in the state-run factories and plants.

State Capitalism: The Private sector controls the means of production through contracts with the Federal, State and Municipal governments. Again, Cronie-ism and a Boardroom cabal will take advantage of the system, paying off the politicians to secure bids through middle men (lobbyists).

Same thing, different perspective.

Agree, big problems with both. One thing that tends to get lost sometimes is the fact that both systems actually DO the same important thing, serve the same function. That is, they concentrate wealth, into the hands of the few. Capitalism is a bit more "honest" about it though.

The fact is, the USA is the world's most powerful COMMUNIST nation.

Not at all. How exactly do you see us as communist?? There are no communes. The USSR was not communist (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - i.e., state socialism, i.e., state capitalism). Workers have no control here, if they did, you would not be seeing factories in China making crap to be sold at Walmart where people earn poverty salaries.

Look up the "planks" of Communism, ANOK has them memorized. The USSA is fully on-board.

...the word is "profits", and it's not a dirty word.

Profit is what is made over and above the real cost of making a product. If it costs overhead for the building (electricity, water, etc.), paying the labor and securing the raw materials, I don't see why any price must be set beyond the operational needs. You might say, "how can my 100-200 friends be trusted to settle on the exact, correct price?" Well, I would imagine that when you are making things in the community where you live, for the community where you live that you would not want to treat your neighbors usuriously. Do unto others, right?

I suppose your thoughts are not all that uncommon. Most people have little idea of what enterprise is all about. If you should take a course on economics one day, you can learn a lot. Suffice to say, you don't know what "profits" are, not in the most important economic sense anyway.

Not surprising that you are also unfamiliar with the proper notion of "price". No, I won't bore you with the details, but I would again suggest either taking a course, or maybe even picking up an old textbook. You might find some good info.

Setting aside the massive problems with trite notions such as "fair", and "reasonable", I think it is to your credit that you foresee the potential problem of "laziness". Not really sure I like your solutions though, sorry to say. You would have the offender "castigated", in the hopes that their "laziness" (tough one to define of course) would be "deterred." Hmmm. I'm not sure I would like working for you (er, I mean, "me", er, I mean, "us"...ah, whatever. Guess I would just be "shamed" or something, perhaps into latrine duty??) Yes. Sounds just lovely.

Maybe a poor choice of words, I'm not talking about a corporal punishment system or a form of demotion, like latrine duty.

Then again, wasn't it Marx who said the assembly line system has detached the worker from his creation, away from the creator of an artisinal craft and reduced to nothing but a drone doing a repetitive task.

The thought would be that, rather than going to IKEA for some semi-built product, partially put together in Thailand or China, a person who had skill with wood working would make the whole chair from scratch. I know, I know, the argument is that then things go slower and are more costly. But then people have jobs, chairs last generations, not three or four years until it chips or warps or breaks and then you send it out to the street corner to be salvaged by some lowly scrapper or disposed of by your city's bulk service.

I'm looking at a nice, strong hutch made by a factory in upstate New York, sometime in the 30s apparently and it is very sturdy and still works the way it was intended. Meanwhile, a dresser that my family and I picked out a year ago at IKEA is already breaking, just like the sagging bookcase I bought at target 3 years ago. For me, it's an obvious answer.

I suppose this is yet another one of those things that isn't always obvious to the non-economist. On the surface, it would seem that making things "to last" makes common sense, and to a certain extent, it does. But, as usual, both costs, and benefits must be taken into account with each economic decision made. I'll just say that, sometimes the correct answer is not obvious in the beginning.

But no point in getting into all that. The thing I want to comment on is that your initial instincts were probably not too far off at all. As you said, you even lived in a Third World nation, so perhaps socialistic thinking comes more natural to you than others. I'm not saying that as a jab, you already explained that you have come to realize that Socialism isn't what it was cracked up to be, so you deserve a compliment, IMO.

So, OK, one of the reasons I haven't been posting in this thread is due to my weak stomach. I am nauseated at the nonsense being spouted, not so much by you, but others, especially when it comes to radical idealistic re-tellings of history. No, the Spanish experience is hardly the "success story" that has been repeated, AD NAUSEUM.

Again, not on you, but your initial point was in fact to "punish" the non-cooperative worker. You are a teacher? Ah, that's accounts for your gentleness perhaps. Believe me, they were not so kind in Spain, where millions died, and some of the worst atrocities were committed, in all the world's history. No, not all Communist guilt, but I would encourage anyone to look into the matter themselves. DO NOT BELIEVE the sheer propaganda in this thread.

Sheesh, that was a long time ago. BUT, these people plan on visiting this nightmare upon us again, just as soon as they can. I'll oppose them. And, I'll...



posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 02:16 PM
reply to post by fallow the light

I still don't think "force" is part of this. Right now people are forced (or compelled, or coerced) to live the capitalist lifestyle.

Strike that. They are coerced to live the way they do, but they are not capitalists. They are prisoners of capitalism. Whether it means living in slums, working ridiculous jobs for no salary, etc.

Ok, let's say you are a dancer and you need a trainer, a janitor, a laundry person, etc. It's possible that the tasks some of these people need to do do not take as much time as you - as the dancer - need in preparation and performance.

That being said, while it's true the audience only comes to see you, they would not be so comfortable without the janitor and the laundry person and the ticket taker. While you should make money off of the tickets, I question why you would need to charge so much to perform your art. Why make your art only accessible to those who can afford it.

Again, there are lots of angles, so it's hard to argue hypothetical situations, just use them for examples.

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 06:31 PM
reply to post by Sphota

Why make your art only accessible to those who can afford it.

This one is a bit too much to pass up!

So, let's say you make shoes. Why not make your shoes accessible to everyone, even if they can't "afford" them?

You might justifiably answer, "Hey, making shoes costs money!" True enough.

And art is "free" then? Or maybe just "cheap"?

Seems like the last thing that should be coming from someone who has self-identified as a teacher.

Is this then why they refuse to pay teachers a decent salary? Because everyone should have an education, even if they can't afford it, so, tough luck teachers, suck it up, you just can't expect much of a paycheck. Everyone has to learn after all!

Happy 4th everyone.


posted on Jul, 10 2011 @ 01:49 AM
reply to post by Sphota


You almost got me back in the argument

But i stand by my words........


posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by JR MacBeth

Ok, I'll bite.

There is a difference between throwing a football well, and being the best to throw it, so that you have to make millions of dollars for doing it. Ok, people want to see you throw the football, but who cares.

I'm sure that a cobbler (a shoe-maker) does not make millions of dollars for making a shoe. And before you point to ferragamo or whatever designer, I think it would be prudent to acknowledge that Ferragamo does not personally spend time in the sweatshop in Malaysia or wherever making every little shoe.

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 02:24 PM
Honestly, I just came to a conclusion. No one has the answers, but on ATS everyone does. I thought I was sick of hearing people spout their useless dribble on the news, and here it's worse because here on ATS we whip out our "armchairs" and try and see which one is bigger from the comfort and protection of our own little ivory-towers.

Why do I waste my time here when I could be reading well formulated books with actual citations?

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by Sphota

There is a difference between throwing a football well, and being the best to throw it, so that you have to make millions of dollars for doing it. Ok, people want to see you throw the football, but who cares.

This is more about a "market", in the classical sense. It's has nothing to do with awarding millions of dollars to entertainers, whether they are the "best", or only "B" quality performers.

If we let the market dictate what the performer's paycheck is, rather than a socialist bureaucracy, then we enjoy the benefit of an automatic control, that benefits, the "market", based on how much each person "wants" to see the performance, aside from their ability to afford it. In truth, there are lots of truly "poor" people, who make a hard decision, and ante up to see Michael, almost like the widow in the Bible with her mite.

Why should anyone have stopped people from paying $50 or $100 or $200 for tickets to see Michael Jackson perform live? If this is what the market dictated, then that's the most reasonable way to decide who gets to go to that concert. Because, the person who didn't care to ante up the $50, obviously did not want to go as bad as the one who did actually pay up.

What if a "government", or some other strong-arm entity decided that they thought it was good to have some percentage of that audience be "poor" people. That is, people who really couldn't afford the $50, but who desperately wanted to see Michael nonetheless.

Here we have a new problem to deal with. How exactly do we decide which poor people get to go? Perhaps someone could have dictated that since 30% of a given population qualifies as "poor", then 30% of the seats must go to poor people, who are either admitted at a reduced rate, or allowed in, for free.

With an endless "poor" population, that 30% will get chewed up pretty fast. So, "who" gets to go? Perhaps a lottery system? And what does this do to Michael's paycheck?

When the market "decides", this isn't a problem. People literally "bid up" the price of the tickets, strictly based on the limited supply, and the extent of the demand. True, less poor people get to see Michael perform, but when it comes down to it, those "poor" people who couldn't manage to find the $50, probably valued cigarrettes more than his performance, when push came to shove. Why let those people in, by using a very unfair lottery system?

In fact, what you find is that since the seats are limited, lots of people, lots of POOR people, are kept out of the performance, who probably should have been there, ahead of the loser who jumped into the lottery, even though he prized his quart of vodka far more than seeing Jackson perform?

WORSE, you have created a classic "black market" incentive, for the alcoholic who could care less about Michael, to try and sell his ticket that he got in the poor man's lottery, to someone who could "afford" it.

If the market decides, all the silliness goes away!

This is what is going on with illegal drugs, like pot, where they are limited, through fiat (law in this case), creating a whole market that isn't "official". Same happened with Prohibition in the 1920's.

So, let's look at the "good" idea again, that everyone should have a chance to enjoy a performance, regardless of their income or wealth. When you think of it, what might seem "best", is that people who truly love Michael the "most", should be the ones who get to go to the performance. Finding out "who" those "true Michael lovers" are? Virtually impossible, obviously. But when the market plays it's very "natural" role, everyone involved has to evaluate the situation, and decide for themselves, how much Michael is worth, to them, in dollars and cents.

Will someone make a bigger relative sacrifice, than another? Of course, but now we get back to Michael. What gives us the right to demand that he "donate" his time, and talent, without his consent? If we say, no, we don't demand anything! Then what happens if Michael "just says NO"? Worse, what happens if the government decides to forcefully compel Michael to perform, or else?! My guess is, you would take a lot of wind out of Michael's sails, and the performance would suffer considerably.

Now in fact, Michael DID donate much of what he had, some may even say ALL of what he had, in his own perhaps weird way. I used Michael Jackson as an example, because he perhaps paid the ultimate price for what he loved. What is a life worth?

In a socialist world, eventually, THAT ugly decision will finally find it's way to the bureaucrat's desk.

Again, if this is your Utopia, NO THANKS.


posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by JR MacBeth

Why is it that so many of the last century's "socialist experiments" went so terribly wrong?

Because every previous 'socialist experiment' has been in a nation state already in turmoil. Not once has an attempt at socialism been made in a developed, highly successful, debt free nation because in those circumstances socialism is largely unnescessary. However as soon as the little temporary capitalist paradise collapses as it is at the moment people look for something else. Socialism's biggest failure is that it's mass appeal only manifests itself once the country in which it becomes appealing is unable to sustain itself in either a capitalist or a socialist system, hence why previous socialist 'experiments' have descended into tyranny and eventual collapse.

Think of socialism like a small business, unless you have sufficient resources (or in the case of socialism economic success) to start, then you are ultimately doomed to failure.
edit on 11-7-2011 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by lifeissacred

Not once has an attempt at socialism been made in a developed, highly successful, debt free nation because in those circumstances socialism is largely unnescessary.

Not necessarily true. Socialism is king, but it's evil twin, capitalism, is ever there to help his brother.

Look at England. Once not so long ago, the sun never set on her empire. Yet, after WW2, notwithstanding the huge popularity of Winston Churchill, the English surprised the world by electing the socialist opposition. Since then, they have continued down the road, but not without outlawing "capitalism", of course.

Sweden, perhaps one of the more socialist nations in the world. With one of the highest standards of living in the world too, we would be remiss, if we did not mention it. And yes, they have been rather "successful", although since free markets are never allowed, ANYWHERE, how would we have anything to compare to?

It's a game. The people in control laugh at us as we discuss this system, and that, both of their making.

Socialism should NEVER be "necessary". If markets were truly free, there might be such abundance, that we would never even consider the shoddy substitutes.

But markets are not free. Capitalism, generally misconstrued as being "free market", is not. Capitalism ensures that capital (wealth), the means of production, etc., ends up in the hands of the FEW. Exactly like socialism! Have we been duped?

Ah then, we have the apologists, who come to "enlighten" us that it is only because we confuse "state" socialism, with the "real" (idealistic, unrealistic, utopian) socialsim.

It's all distraction. Wealth continues to concentrate into the hands of the very few. The same ones who commissioned and developed these insane systems, that people enjoy arguing about.

It's much like the "Plantation" I like to speak of. People get angry, and even angrier if I use the term "Massa", but we need to get past all our roadblocks.

Massa is indeed Lord of his Plantation. At one point, he observed his slaves wondering about such concepts as "fairness".

Initially, he told them to look at their Bibles! Don't you know that "these have worked but one hour, but we have borne the brunt of the heat of midday! How is it that they are paid the same as we?"

Eventually, that didn't work as well as he had hoped, so he allowed other philosophies. Some said, "Let us contribute according to our abilities!!" Others said, "OK, but can we receive according to our need, pretty please?"

And Massa saw that it was good. Many were indeed contributing to their abilities (finally!). As for their needs? Ah, they were so ridiculous to begin with! Of course, they will have food to eat, and a roof over their miserable heads! Ha, ha! How simple slaves are!

Now it came to pass, that Massa had some House Slaves. These were better than mere field slaves. Massa had selected them because they were smarter, perhaps more comely (if you get my drift!), and certainly less troublesome. To these he said, "Ye are SPECIAL! In fact, some few of you shall even be inheritors!"

And it came to pass, that some few, those with not more than one-eighth slave blood, could indeed become heirs! These would contribute their "shares" to the whole, in due time, and even if their part be relatively small, as a whole, they helped make Massa even stronger.

This humble group of heirs he allowed to be called "capitalists", and yet, it was he who derived the major benefit. In fact, if now and again, these non full-blood heirs got uppity, he could make it so that their "shares" in the Plantation inheritance, would suddenly be worth virtually nothing! He would then laugh, and gather it all back unto his fat self!

For entertainment, now and again Massa would treat himself to watching his field slaves, fight with his house slaves. As a whole, the field slaves were more numerous, and quite strong, but the House slaves were a proud bunch, and even if they were beaten badly, could pick themselves up again, and return to the house, and curse the field vermin, taking comfort in the fact that they were at least, House slaves.

This saga could continue, but I tend to bore people, so that's enough for now!


posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 09:26 PM
reply to post by JR MacBeth

Whilst Sweden has some decent social services and socialist inspired policies it's not exactly a socialist country.

There's no such thing as a 'free' market. As long as there is a dominating economic force then there will never be a free market since they will ultimately wield more influence than anyone else. 'Free' markets welcome dictatorship, they empower the rich not the poor.
edit on 11-7-2011 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by lifeissacred

There's no such thing as a 'free' market. As long as there is a dominating economic force then there will never be a free market since they will ultimately wield more influence than anyone else. 'Free' markets welcome dictatorship, they empower the rich not the poor.

Yes, and there's no such thing as a completely socialist country either, as others have pointed out in this thread.

Sometimes we need to ask the right questions, such as, what if the "market" was allowed to be the true "dominating" economic force?

In a sense, this is exactly what's true, even in the face of all kinds of governmental interference (as opposed to reasonable law enforcement, sometimes called "regulation", when it comes to business).

So, perhaps we can't get away with going against human nature, as it is expressed in economics. Which means that the powerful will always have an advantage, and the rich are powerful of course.

As far as a distinction you might be insinuating, by saying free markets welcome dictatorships, the fact is, it is human nature that welcomes dictatorships. Always has. Look back, and we see endless kings and emperors. Look around today, and we may see a new beast, the corporation, but behind them are the same people, the "nobles" primarily, for lack of a better term. Yes, they have recently (in the past two hundred years) admitted a handful of nouveau riche, who have not surprisingly adopted the ways of their masters, but this isn't that important.

What we also have, after considering these matters with proper regard to human nature, as we find it, is the issue of the nature of power.

Power does not only infamously "corrupt", but it tends to ever concentrate. Obviously, wealth and power go hand-in-hand.

This is actually the better explanation for the insidious things we see. It's rather naive to imagine that "free" markets beg for dictatorship. Sounds almost Orwellian, like DoubleSpeak! It's actually all about corrupt humans, and how they behave, regardless of the strictures they may find placed upon them.

Which begs the larger question: Are free markets a "good" thing, or a bad thing?

The answer is not a simple yea or nay.

If we all found ourselves hungry one day, and you had a big bag of peanuts, and everyone looked at you and demanded you "share" (or else!), you might be faced with very human "temptations", dare I say. You might argue with the mob, and say something like, "I worked for these, or, I saved mine, when you recklessly ate yours!" Maybe you are not merely prudent, and thrifty, but perhaps you care deeply about your children. You tell the mob, "I have a family to feed! If I share my bag, it will be gone within 5 minutes, but if I can keep it, I will stretch it out this week, so that my kids (at least) will eat." Quickly, you find that the mob doesn't care about you or your family.

Ah, if there was just a loathsome "free" market around in that case, with a bit of law and order in the background. Perhaps then you might say, "Yes, it is a big bag of peanuts. I saved them, it wasn't easy. What do you have to trade with me?"

Already, we're on to a much more fruitful scenario, for all involved. But now, let us assume instead that you aren't fortunate enough to have a free market working for you. Instead, you are a socialist. In your head, the ugly mantra plays over and over again, "From each, according to his abilities. To each, according to his needs..."

You are justifiably confused perhaps, because you are indeed facing a mob with "need". What their abilities are, you are beginning to wonder. You're quite certain one has a knife. Another has a mean look, and may have a gun in his pants.

Your head droops. You also have abilities! You were thrifty. You sacrificed, while they imprudently enjoyed themselves. But alas! All your indoctrination at that point was so inadequate for this real moment of human interaction!

A beautiful moment nonetheless, because TWO seconds before the mob rushes you, you have a flash of inspiration! You see so clearly now that Socialism is horribly dysgenic. It will eventually breed out of people qualities such as prudence, and thriftiness, and even primal concern for one's own children.

ONE second to go. You are filled with gratitude! Your inspiration has led you to resignation. You realize that you do not want to live in this ugly world any longer. You get your wish...

And so we have arrived at one answer: A decided YEA for free markets, as we have examined the "micro" application of the concept.

Perhaps some disagree with my analysis, but so I don't go on, perhaps there is still hope, and as we consider the "macro" world, free markets will begin to show their weakness. Someone may want to jump in here, and show why they fail us, or even lead to "dictatorship". Maybe it's possible that the micro does not inform the macro after all, even if intuitively, it would seem that there would have to be some connection.


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